A Trip to California’s North Coast and its Piers, Oct. 1, 2015 (Day 1)

Whenever I take a trip to the piers in California’s most northern coastal counties—Marin, Sonoma, Humboldt and Del Norte, I’m reminded of the diversity and beauty of the entire region. I’m also reminded of why it’s called the “Redwood Empire.” In Marin County, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, the scene is mostly urban but with redwood covered hills off in the distance. Sonoma County is up next. The towns become more spread out, there’s an amazing juxtaposition with California’s golden hills contrasting with its vineyards and, off in the distance, the coastal hills and mountains capped with redwoods. Mendocino County, my old stomping ground, is next up in the journey and is much the same, but the towns are now few and far between while farms, orchards, and acre after acre of grapes dominate the scene. But again, looking west, one sees the hills covered in redwoods (notice a certain theme?). Humboldt and Del Norte counties are the apogee points when it comes to the redwoods with state and federal redwood parks dominating the drive. Humboldt Bay is huge, and Eureka may be the big city in Humboldt County, but people make the trip north to see the world’s tallest trees. Del Norte, the most northern county, is all about wild. A beautiful wild coast, wild rivers, and wild elk, a sportsman’s paradise! Every drive north reminds one how different and varied are California’s landscapes.

[Warning, this particular blog may be more of a travel log than a simple fishing blog.]

Day 1 saw a drive north to Eureka. From my Fresno home it’s basically a little over a nine-hour drive, give or take, depending upon traffic and road construction. Given my propensity to stop and take a few pictures, the drive became more of a ten-hour trip.

The sky was beautiful during the drive. This is an old barn near Geyserville.

A vineyard near Asti

Grapes everywhere

More grapes

A beautiful, cloud-filled sky and the Mendocino countryside

What a beautiful day!

Beautiful scenes behind every curve in the road

The Greeks might have thought the gods were having a little tiff

Some interesting-shaped clouds


Simply beautiful, what more can you say?

The Founders Grove

One of the many redwood groves just off the highway

Who doesn’t like the redwoods?

The Dyerville Giant

Wherever you find redwoods you will normally find ferns

It was time to head back to the car and continue north

The road out of the grove

On a side road, outside the park, I found these redwoods seemingly covered with vines of poison oak showing their fall colors

Pretty to look at but don’t touch!

Time to continue the drive to Eureka

After arriving in Eureka, I quickly moved my bag into the motel room and then headed over to the Del Norte St. Pier to do some fishing. However, it was getting dark, there was a strong wind, and it appeared to be low tide.

Most interesting was a Coast Guard helicopter practicing rescue operations near the pier.

Unfortunately the helicopter would prove to be the highlight of the visit. The current was strong and the water was chock full of eelgrass making the fishing very, very difficult. An hour of fishing produced only three small sculpins but at least fifty pounds of salad and it seemed like I was spending all of my time removing the grass from my lines.  I decided to call it a day and headed back to the motel.


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